Tennis: Rafael Nadal delivers Davis Cup title for Spain

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov and winning the Davis Cup in Madrid on Nov 24, 2019.
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov and winning the Davis Cup in Madrid on Nov 24, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (REUTERS) - Hosts Spain made light work of a youthful Canadian side to win the inaugural edition of the new-look Davis Cup and claim the team trophy for a sixth time on Sunday (Nov 24).

Fittingly it was Spain's talisman Rafael Nadal who sealed the triumph, beating 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6(7) to rack up his eighth victory in eight matches during a gruelling week.

Playing for the fourth successive day, the 33-year-old was surely tired and it began to show as Shapovalov fought to keep Canada alive in their first Davis Cup final.

Nadal saved a set point in the second-set tiebreak before claiming his 29th successive Davis Cup singles win.

Spain got off to a flying start in front of a sell-out 12,500 crowd in La Caja Magica as Roberto Bautista Agut returned to the team days after the death of his father to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3) 6-2.

That left Shapovalov facing mission impossible against the 19-time Grand Slam champion but the stylish left-hander threatened to put the Spanish fiesta on hold in a combative second set as the zip went out of Nadal's legs.

Nadal would not be denied though as he delivered Spain's first title since 2011.

It completed a remarkable week in the Spanish capital which has been hosting the new version of the 119-year-old event featuring 18 nations.